New album ‘the whole journey’

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Wanaka electronic duo Arma Del Amor are making waves, and their new album Onna Bugeisha recently reached No 1 on the electronic iTunes charts.

The band, Danny Fairley and Martine Harding, and drummer Ricky Simmonds who joins them for live performances, are celebrating their album release with a six­date tour, beginning on June 8.

The album was the culmination of two years of writing and composing, which gradually came together as a cohesive whole, they said.

‘‘There was a moment when I remember both of us going ‘Whoa, it all feels like it is making sense now’, and it felt like ‘Oh cool, that feels like a whole journey’,’’ Miss Harding said.

‘‘Retrogress was probably the oldest song, that was written almost two years ago, but when you compare that to say The Usurper, which is the newest song, to my ears they sound super similar, they fit together,’’ Mr Fairley said. ‘‘So to be able to put all these songs together and align them, it actually feels like there’s a journey involved with it.’’

Albums were still a satisfying listening experience, even though they had become harder to promote, he said.
‘‘In the music industry, albums are dead, it’s so hard to try to push an album’s amount of songs, whereas if you just have one ‘banging’ single, you get the same amount of traction with social media and exposure that you would with an album.
‘‘You have to be selfish as a musician and say ‘I want to make an album’ even if it costs way more money and doesn’t do as good as a single,’’ he said.

The name of the album — Onna Bugeisha — was the name of Japanese female warriors from a high social class.
The title emerged after both researched mythological goddesses, they said.
‘‘World music inspires us, and different cultures — we do like reading up on things and going deeper down the rabbit hole,’’ Miss Harding said.
Lyrics were mainly written by Miss Harding, with Mr Fairley focusing on music, but it was a collaborative effort — ‘‘we fine-tune each other’s side’’, Miss Harding said.
‘‘Most of the time the music comes and then that is the foundation for the idea that will be planted in Martine’s mind,’’ Mr Fairley said.
‘‘I’ve got to consciously think about composing for the band. You want it to sonically match the other songs, and be comparable, so I only use three synthesisers.’’
A chord progression, a melody on the piano or even a small sample could be the beginning of a song, he said.
‘‘That is the fire that literally burns the song out in half a day.’’

The duo were looking forward to touring the album, which would also include songs from their back catalogue.
This would be their biggest tour schedule to date, culminating in a very special performance in Wanaka, which would include some surprise elements, including special guests, Miss Harding said.
‘‘It’s definitely going to be the next rung of the ladder towards what we are trying to achieve.’’

Arma Del Amor: ‘Onna Bugeisha’ album release tour

Friday, June 8: Darkroom, Christchurch

Saturday, June 9: Fifty Gorillas, Dunedin

Friday, June 15: Valhalla, Wellington

Saturday, June 23: Cassette Nine, Auckland

Friday, July 6: Yonder, Queenstown

Saturday, July 7:The Rippon Hall, Wanaka